No more air conditioning problems at Couromoda during the hot month of January, and probably no more power breakdowns due to tropical rainfalls. The annual Brazilian trade show in São Paulo, where the nation's industry tends to collect orders for 35 percent of its annual turnover, will move next year from the old-fashioned Anhembi fairgrounds to a more modern exhibition center of similar size further north. It will offer many new services and facilities.
Among other things, the new fairgrounds in Expo Center Norte will allow the participating exhibitors to stage a big fashion show against a large video screen. The various segments will be more clearly divided.
Expo Center Norte has been hosting lately a parallel fashion exhibition organized by the same group. The fashion trade show, which is called São Paulo Prêt-à-Porter, will move to a portion of the Anhembi fairgrounds, where it will occupy about 8,000 m² of net space. As its contract with Anhembi runs until 2020, Grupo Couromoda will have to pay a big fine if it pulls out of the exhibition center sooner.
Because of temporary constraints, the 2015 edition of Couromoda will start on a Sunday rather than on a Monday, creating a bigger overlap with Expo Riva Schuh in Italy for Brazilian suppliers and international visitors. It will take place on Jan. 11-14. As usual, a big retailers' convention will be held on the eve of the fair. The schedule should go back to a Monday-Thursday sequence in 2016.
The organizers expect about the same number of exhibitors for the next edition, occupying around 40,000 m² of net space, but they hope to attract other brands at future editions, including some of the major sports brands, which have pulled out of the fair because the bigger ones start taking orders already in November.
The 41st edition of Couromoda earlier this month presented about 2,000 collections on 39,000 m² of net space. That was a reduction of about 10 percent from the previous edition. Vulcabras, which has been traditionally the largest one, reduced the size of its stand, eliminating its sports segment and concentrating on its two fashion brands, Azaleia and Dijean. Via Uno did no exhibit because of ongoing financial problems.
There was no major change in terms of exhibitors. Xti from Spain exhibited at Couromoda for the first time. It had already presented its collection, which is manufactured in China, at the Francal fair in São Paulo last July. An official of the company said that it was not targeting the Brazilian market because of its anti-dumping duties on shoes from China, but rather buyers from other Latin American countries who visit Couromoda regularly
One of the novelties at the show was a collective exhibition of high-end Italian tanners from the region of Tuscany, which was partly financed by local authorities. They wrote only a few small orders, but had some encouraging contacts with Brazilian manufacturers that are trying to upgrade their collections. These tanners began a similar project with positive results in China ten years ago, exhibiting at the Canton Fair.
To encourage buyers to stay throughout the fair, Couromoda organized a raffle of two brand-new Hyundai cars for storeowners lining up for the contest on the fourth day. The experience should be repeated next year.
The overall attendance was a little lower than last year, when the fair welcomed a total of 37,000 visitors who paid about 80,000 visits to the event. There were about 35,000 visitors paying going through the gates 79,000 times this time.
About 2,000 shoe collections were presented at Couromoda, which is timed to take place three weeks after the year-end sales of the summer collections in the Southern Hemisphere. Led by Francisco Santos and his son Jeferson, Grupo Courmoda organizes other fairs in the fashion, beauty care and health care sectors. Couromoda and two other of its shows, Hospitalar and Hair Brasil, are among the ten largest trade shows in the country.
The other big Brazilian shoe trade fair in São Paulo, Francal, will remain in the Anhembi fairgrounds next July, but its dates have been postponed to July 15-18, two days after the end of the World Cup of football, which will run in Brazil from June 12 to July 13. Like last year, the organizers expect about 60,000 visitors, 1,500 of whom should come as before from more than 70 countries.. Francal is conducting a survey to determine whether it should move away from Anhembi like Couromoda.
Hotel prices in São Paulo are sure to inflate because of the World Cup, but Francal's organizers will soon start blocking almost 2,000 rooms at various hotels to offer special convention rates to the visitors. Applications should start around the beginning of February. An official of Francal could not say whether the fair will also move to Expo Center Norte in the summer of 2015.